I’m pleased to finally present the big project I’ve been dying to reveal: the cover for a Polaris 50th anniversary minicomic!

I’ve commissioned Mlad for what will be multiple pages of what I think captures her history and core nature. The minicomic will be released as each page is completed over the course of the next several months.

I hope you all enjoy this and what’s to come as much as I have and will!

The Polaris Chronicles – Chapter 4 – salarta – X-Men (Comicverse) [Archive of Our Own]

Chapter 4:  Rebel


Lorna Dane’s mutant powers reawaken through a painful device at Mesmero’s behest. When she comes out of it, she has a choice: remain a meek girl or save her heroes.

Author’s Note: This chapter is one I’m both most proud of and most worried about how it’ll be perceived given imagery and allusions used. It’s based primarily on X-Men #49, 50 and 51; her introductory issues. Here’s pics from my re-read to prep this chapter: https://imgur.com/a/xBTxGJO.

Crucifixion. Resurrection. A cross. The sight of this green teen girl splayed out on a techno-slab conjured images and themes long-admired by the majority of this country. The rulers. The humans. The bigots. It represented a tiny package of convenient morals to assuage hurt feelings in themselves while denying them in anyone they considered ‘the other’.

It did not represent Lorna Dane.

She screamed. Hair floating. Arms twitching. Magnetism fastened her wrists to the circles of her cross-beam, harder than any pair of handcuffs. For three seconds – three loooooooong seconds – she endured. Writhing, shaking, gnashing her teeth, clenching her eyes shut, she endured. Her heart thumped wildly to keep up with her ever-growing limits.

100 volts. 200 volts. 350. 450. 500. 1000. As the voltage climbed, it cleansed all traces of her old self. Her meek self. Her naive self. Her sheltered self, twelve hundred miles from home. Alone. All this power devoured her innocence as swiftly as remnants of her brown hair dye fizzled in puffs of dark smoke. Through it all, she uselessly tossed in her bonds for any give she could take.

Crackle! Crzzzz! The machines spit electric fire up and down a metal stake holding their captive. Even those who built this travesty mistook the machines themselves for this visual spectacle, but no. It came from the flesh and blood bound within. Every cell of Lorna Dane’s body hummed as the tech agitated their genetic cores. Microscale pokes and prods made the cells lash out. Their violence erupted in the shape of raw energy blasting all about her. Her whole world blossomed in emerald shades… and through that miasma, she saw her abductor.

Mesmero. With a giant M on his belt, a long cape and absurd helmet, it puzzled Lorna how this man in a joke of a costume could inflict such suffering on her for his so-called noble cause. How he could claim to be superior while watching her struggle with a joyous smirk.

“The genius that was bequeathed us by the magnificent Magneto shall bring forth from this feeble shell – a being powerful beyond all others! And our invincible leader!”

This ‘feeble shell’ glowered through her pain at the monster. That’s what he was. Not man. Not mutant. His lack of respect for a girl he claimed to prize second only to Magneto himself came through clear in his words. He did not see her for her. He saw her for what he wanted her to be. Another thing he could control. Another puppet to dance on his whims. An object he could use as he desired, under a righteous guise.

The genetic stimulator buzzed with its first signs of salvation. Its whining, crackling chorale built to a deafening crescendo, and finally… silence. Lorna breathed deep and heavy. Her sweat sizzled into clean vapor off her tired limbs. At last, freedom. Freedom to use these new powers for a bit of revenge.

Or so she thought. Then she saw them.

“Behold! She stands before us now – the omnipotent empress of all evil mutants! For within her runs the blood of he whose name is sacred unto us!”

The X-Men had failed. Her heroes, the team of rebellious youths who righted wrongs with their tremendous mutant gifts, fell before Mesmero and his men. They stood as slumped, pale imitations of themselves. Angel’s glorious feathery wings hung low. Cyclops cast his ruby red visor downward. The hulking Beast hardly seemed able to move much less fling cars.

But the worst of what Lorna saw? Jean Grey. The fiery redhead who so often showed how women could fight just fine among the boys, now stood quietly behind their leader.

Witnessing their defeat, Lorna had a choice. One playing in her mind as she listened to the villain of this moment spout off another trite line to massage his own ego.

“Yes – now may I reveal that she is – daughter of Magneto – and Queen of Mutants! Hail, glorious queen!”

Play the part. Be the queen. Or step aside, be her old naive self and watch her heroes die right in front of her. Perhaps before her time through gadget hell, she might have left it to the X-Men to save her. Not anymore. Mustering some courage, she stepped forward with her arms high. She took on a dark, menacing mien – an easy task for her after suffering through eternal seconds of agony. It burned fresh in muscle memory, so hot that when she gazed on her allies and looked into their dreadful eyes, she did her best to assuage their fears by contorting her fingers into a pair of devil horns.

The devil horns. So simple. So misunderstood. Like them. Like mutants everywhere. What the old guard mistook as some perverse allegiance to the devil, up and coming teens knew its true meaning: a ward against the evil eye. Resistance to toxic authority, to a tin man with an M on his belt and a big head who sought to possess her and failed.

It was a minor gesture. One she hoped the X-Men would notice. Even if they didn’t, she needed to keep up her act. Absorbing the ludicrous despot’s manner of speech, she concocted a few lines and rattled them off as best she could.

“Now I understand the strange stirrings within me that tortured my soul almost from my first conscious moment! For, my father’s blood, though unknown to me, could not be silenced! Yes – I know my calling now! I am your – queen!”

The X-Men trembled. Mesmero’s followers kneeled. They bought it. Every one of them believed every word. That moment, right then, she knew she had it. Her opening.

Power coursed through her veins. Electric might sparked over her arms, slammed into her chest, danced through her light minty hair – its color drained to a paler shade than when her ordeal began. Mere feet away, Beast’s Mini-Cerebro fumed. Overloaded wires. It couldn’t take her energy. Hotter, brighter, it only took seconds – three seconds – before the brand new device exploded. Blue shards flew everywhere.

Ever since they took her, Mesmero’s men described her in many different ways. An M-II weapon. A living goddess. Empress. Queen. From a simple girl living a simple life, to some kind of evil master unto herself, her captors clearly had high ambitions for how they could purge her innocence and use her for themselves.

Too bad she had other ideas, and it all came down to one thing: that damned cross. Her captors may have seen it as a symbol of rebirth, but Lorna felt something different. She felt her ancestors. She felt good Jewish men and women who lived, and loved, and suffered and died because they dared to defy Roman law. Because they sought to be more than what people told them to be. Because they were special, and they showed it.

For all their bluster, Mesmero and his men were no different. They simply thought they could keep the body and kill her soul.

They failed. She still lived, whole, and she would make them pay for what they did. As she unleashed waves of force on those who claimed to worship her, she took on a mantle all her own. One that belonged to her by birthright.


The Polaris Chronicles – Chapter 4 – salarta – X-Men (Comicverse) [Archive of Our Own]

Second commission for Lorna’s 50th anniversary, completed by boxofwant! This time, I commissioned both this version and a NSFW version.

Their account is set to only be viewable (directly and via searches) with safe mode off, so I’m making this separate post for everyone to be able to see the safe version.

And of course, I do want to note that box was great to commission and very patient and accommodating with what I requested. 🙂

If you’re curious, the first anniversary piece I commissioned this year was this one by decoysnake.

The Polaris Chronicles – Chapter 3 – salarta – X-Men (Comicverse) [Archive of Our Own]

Chapter 3:  A New Age


A teenage Lorna Dane watches a fight between the X-Men and Magneto on TV and wonders: why can’t she be one of them?

Author’s Note: This chapter takes a tense shift from past to present tense. I realize this is generally a bad idea, but I think present tense works better for what I’m trying to do. Anyway, this is a ‘fanon’ chapter, and I explained its inspiration on AO3 if you wanna see what it is there.

She watches them on TV. These superhumans. These homo superior. These X-Men. Their faces play over and over on the screen in sheer radiant glory, blasting debris, icing roads, tossing boulders. One majestic mutant soars to heights under his own power that only an Angel could dream to reach. Each of the boys – and one girl, she reminds herself – take to action with a youthful rebellious zeal only teens could bring.

An apocalypse. A revolution. The dawning of a new age filled with awe and wonder. People call these strange times many things, but as she looks on, Lorna Dane asks herself one simple yet important question.

Why not me?

She hides herself in hair dye. Chestnut waves roll down her shoulders, obscuring the painful truth of an emerald lie teasing her with the idea of becoming something more, something different, something special and better than a meek girl sitting in her living room. She wonders why her hair couldn’t stand for more than a rare condition inherited from a father she couldn’t even remember. Just enough strangeness that people might mistake her for a mutant. Not enough to be one.

A pitched battle between good and evil rages on the tiny box in front of her. Lorna bears witness to a scowling man in red and purple as he lifts whole cars off the ground. She imitates his motions, dreaming of the power to make them sail skyward as he did. The thrum in her fingers dissipates when she sees the Angel weave between those cars. Darting up, dodging right, all with the grace and finesse of an avian god. His gloriously fluffy feathery white wings pin to his back as he spin-dives into his foe.

For a moment, this Magneto looks finished. He topples over, rolls backward, electricity sparking along his body. Another lad’s crimson optic blast rushes toward him at the speed of light. Blink of an eye. But then, Magneto recovers at the very last second. A wave of his arm sends the blast into Angel, knocking him out of the air.

In her mind’s eye, it’s her deflecting that blow. Her feet lifting off the ground. Her cape billowing in the wind. She sees green all around her, on her, inside her, rippling like a force of nature.

Then, her mind drifts to other thoughts. Kinder thoughts. Gentler thoughts. She wouldn’t have to use such a wonderful gift for fighting. She could build things. Create things. From the tallest skyscraper in the world to the most elegant statues of these mutant heroes she could imagine, Lorna could mold each scrap of metal into precisely what she imagined. She could show everyone what a boon these mutants were.

… If she had the parts. She doesn’t have the parts. Her hands shake because her heart can’t. Tears stream down her face. She doesn’t understand the hole buried in her chest. Why she can’t fill it. Why the images playing in front of her press upon that void but don’t quite fit, tapping at the edges, slipping at the corners.

In those moments, she thinks about the man in red and purple. An outcast among his own kind, she knows he wreaks havoc and causes trouble for his fellow mutants. The X-Men wouldn’t fight him if they had no reason. Yet, she can’t help seeing some part of herself in him. His defiance. His rage. His spirit, burning as if guided by some higher calling. He glows so brightly that she finds it hard to believe all those horrid things people call him on the news. Murderer. Monster. Despite them all, one insidious label sticks out most of all: Mutie.

That word. The M-word. The reason her parents insisted she hide her green to make herself look normal, mundane, ordinary, like everyone else. The reason she sits inside the house while bigots and haters march along city streets, denouncing the future.

Not her future, of course. Her little quirk of color means nothing. ‘Minor detail’. Even Dr. Moira said so.

But it doesn’t stop her from wishing, and dreaming, and thinking. Her eyes light up. What if she could be part of something greater? What if she had the power to set an example, to right the world’s wrongs, to become her best self while standing beside friends who saw her green hair and loved her for it? She reaches out to the screen… and pulls away when it crackles.

When it spits sparks. When the picture flickers in and out with fiendish abandon. She mentally chides herself for not remembering her mother’s warnings about how sensitive these so-called technological wonders truly were. One wrong touch or one hand in the wrong place set them off in a smoldering heap. Like a good girl, she leans back in her couch and waits for her chance to see her mutant heroes once again.

Wishing she could join them.

The Polaris Chronicles – Chapter 3 – salarta – X-Men (Comicverse) [Archive of Our Own]

The Polaris Chronicles – Chapter 2 – salarta – X-Men (Comicverse) [Archive of Our Own]

Chapter 2: 

Of Blood and Fire

Summary: Little Lorna Dane witnesses her parents fighting, leading to a very painful and traumatic mutant power awakening.

Author’s Note: This is a retelling of Lorna’s origin story told in X-Factor #243, only with more POV on Lorna and an attempt by me to add more gravity to what happens. Whether I succeeded or failed in the latter, I don’t know, but I tried. 😛

Rage and blood and fire. People expect these things in a world of heroes and villains. Grand battles on city skylines. Ripped up streets. Crushed cars. They never think of the smaller battles, like two parents arguing in the cockpit of a plane. Sharp words cutting through fragile hearts and sore egos.

Like Arnold and Suzanna Dane.

The two once-proud parents stare at each other. Hateful glares. Blue and green eyes set upon each other, deciding how best to let loose with whatever wicked barbs their minds could conjure in the throes of anger.

“Don’t be an idiot!”

“I don’t know why the hell I married you in the first place!”

“Well, you were never around, Arnold!”

“He said I was perfect! You never said I was perfect!”

Anything, everything, they dredged the deepest pits of their souls for weapons that could burn, twist, slice through to reach those most delicate and sensitive, human parts. Years of love unraveled in the blink of an eye. Two eyes, in fact. Two small, green, wet eyes that still shimmered like the pair of emeralds those same parents always said they were.

The eyes of little Lorna Dane.

In her light green turtleneck and her blue overalls, clutching her fuzzy monkey doll, Lorna rubbed the sleep away and listened to every word. Every. Word. Soaking them in like a tiny sponge. Sitting on the aisle floor, she watched as cruelty and her sadness shook the cockpit door. Its metal hummed. Crackled. Green bolts coursed around its frame, glowing brighter and brighter as her parents got worse.

“Well, excuse the hell out of me for being busy earning a living to support my wife and our – sorry, your – child!”

A sniffle. Little Lorna’s little nose burned as much of the corner of her eye. A tear. Shimmering and sad, it snuck out and slipped down her puffy cheek. Her vision blurred as she hugged her Jojo tighter. Its fur sparked. Not that she noticed. Her innocent young mind settled on one thing above all others.

“M… mommy… daddy…” she mumbled. Drowned out by a sky of insults whipping about her. Her fragile, innocent voice found volume in her despair. “Stop fighting!”

In her thoughts, in her wildest fantasies and dreams, the young girl imagined something better. She imagined a mother and father, rushing out to comfort their dear child. She imagined scowls and sneers and spit replaced with love and smiles, as they lifted her in their arms and showed her how much she meant to them.

She frowned as they dashed her frail hopes.

“Oh, great! You woke up Lorna!” Suzanna shouted.

“Hey, you were the one who was screaming!” Arnold bit back.

The small bundle of joy sobbed to herself. Again, her parents used her on each other. As a weapon. As a burden. A cross to bear. She buried her face in Jojo’s crown and suffered more verbal stings in her ears. Heart pounding, face flushed, Lorna let her tears soak through her doll’s soft felt. It was there. To hold. To touch. To hug. It accepted and heard her, one playful friend… and the only thing in the whole plane who cared about her feelings at all.

“Stop fighting! Stop fighting!!!” Lorna screamed.

“Will you shut that little brat of yours up!”

Footsteps pounded on the floor. The cockpit door flew open, banged against the restroom sign. When little Lorna looked up, her sight cleared just enough to see her mother. Once angelic. Once serene. Now twisted. Hard lines, narrowed glare, nostrils flared. This demon in the dark hunched toward her.

“Be quiet, Lorna! Just shut up and go back to-”

She couldn’t take it anymore. Lorna’s sorrow pulsed and sizzled on her skin. Green enveloped her, bright and shimmering all across her body. Emerald streaks stained through her brown hair, strand by strand.

“Oh my god!” Suzanna whispered. Not in rage. Not in love. Fear. Trembling. Lip quivering. She could feel it coming. Regret swelled in her chest, but… too late. Far too late.


Tears and blood and fire. As windows cracked and the plane’s wings ripped free, little Lorna lost her fight. And so much more.

The Polaris Chronicles – Chapter 2 – salarta – X-Men (Comicverse) [Archive of Our Own]

The Polaris Chronicles – Chapter 1 – salarta – X-Men (Comicverse) [Archive of Our Own]

Chapters: 1/12
Fandom: X-Men (Comicverse), X-Men – All Media Types, Marvel (Comics)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Lorna Dane
Additional Tags: Childbirth, Mutants, Mutant Powers, Mutant Birth

For the 50th anniversary of Polaris’ creation (October 1968), a chronological journey through her character history in the comics. Contains fanon and fan reimaginings of existing moments. One new chapter per month until end of the year.

First chapter text included after the “Read More” cut-off! Chapter title: 

Trick of the Lights (or, A Star is Born)

“Push, honey! Push!”

Suzanna’s screams did more than echo down the halls. Lights flickered. Tools rattled in the tray. Air crackled electric along the contrails of her voice. Every grunt, every groan, every breath carried with it a miasma of raw power emanating with bright and brilliant jade shimmers. If one truly knew what they saw, they might have recognized the glitz and glimmer of a very special mutant born to this harsh human world.

But this was a different time. A different place. Before the Brotherhood. Before the X-Men. Before the world came to know and fear ‘The Mutant Menace’ living next door. Sentinels, Senator Kelly, Dark Phoenix, Malice, Genosha, these and other historical footnotes and horrors had yet to come. The future lay ahead, uncharted, many paths open for the taking.

So blinded, proud Suzanna and Arnold understood only this: they had a baby on the way. Any minute now, their beautiful bundle of joy would emerge from her mother’s womb amid one of the wildest, most cataclysmic earthquakes to rock the good state of California in decades. Like all birthing mothers, Suzanna had the perfect words to answer her husband and mark this grand occasion.

“What the fuck do you think I’m doing?!”

Animal instinct taught Arnold not to touch the bed’s siderails. His hand still quivered from his last shock, not at all helped when his watch stuck fast to its metal for several seconds too long. His poor frazzled brain put no thought into why or how jolts coursed through his arm and down his leg. Just as it never bothered to grasp why bits of metal jumped free and floated of their own accord. It didn’t have the time. Or energy. Or basic tools. He was a husband and father, damnit, not a rocket scientist. Nine to fiver in the mills, not equipped for the majesty of his coming child… but trying all the same.

“Someone fix these damned lights,” shouted the couple’s doctor – perhaps better mannered than could be expected. Forceps out of reach. Power on the fritz. Despite his years, nothing prepared him for this kind of birth. Out of his depth.

“The baby’s crowning!” Nurse Annie excitedly proclaimed. First-timer, she bore witness from afar and silently wondered about the strange little aurora looping around Suzanna’s belly and thighs. Trick of the lights. Had to be. Nothing else explained the blinding green crescendo, all those lovely swirls and pulses of life beating to the tune of that baby’s heart.

Mesmerizing. Almost hypnotic. Suzanna’s pained cries and Arnold’s desperate quavering cascaded out of Annie’s amateur ears to the sight before her. She could lose herself in this moment. Simply lose herself. Slip away from all her bills, and her family dramas, and… and… and…

“Nurse! Forceps!”

Annie awoke with a few fierce blinks. Quietly apologetic, she handed the doctor his tools as demanded. Time bled and sped in a blur. Soon enough, the baby slid out. What happened next, she saw many times in movies and training segments, but watching the real deal would have felt bizarre under any context. It just so happened that this birth had an extra special kink to its wrinkles.

The doctor smacked the baby’s bottom.


The baby cried.

And with it came a boom. Loud and mighty, the entire building shuddered as if the earth itself rebelled at the doctor’s foolish act. It forced the doctor back on his ass in the closest seat while power flowed unseen from bulbs and sockets into the wailing newborn. While the doctor collected himself, the nurse took her place in these affairs. Cleaning the baby. Wrapping her. Presenting the glowing bundle to her parents.

“Congratulations,” Annie said. “It’s a girl.”

“Oh, my precious little star,” Suzanna gasped with joy, paying no mind to the matted tufts of hair fading from green to brown. Trick of the lights. Nothing more.

The Polaris Chronicles – Chapter 1 – salarta – X-Men (Comicverse) [Archive of Our Own]

Just a little prelude announcement.

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the creation of Polaris/Lorna Dane. She was created in October of 1968.

I can already say based on @marvelentertainment‘s history with her that they won’t acknowledge this anniversary. In fact, the way Marvel behaves toward her means it’s more likely they’ll actively keep her off everything they can during this time. They won’t want to give her or Gifted any more of a boost than necessary. This is in addition to Marvel’s general negative attitude toward her.

So why am I saying all this? Cause I want to reiterate: fandom should be prepared to do all the work on celebrating her anniversary. Marvel won’t be offering anything, so it’ll be up to fandom to make it happen.

My current plan is to commission fanart and if I can get into the swing of it, write some fanfic. These are my current ideas, not all of which I’ll necessarily pursue, but which I’ll at least consider and pick a few from.

Art (commissioning artists)

“The Littlest Magnet” cover – children’s book style, made to look like a cover with baby/child Lorna

“X-Men Green” cover – mock-up cover of a team book with Polaris as its leader

“Generations: The Magnets” cover – mock-up cover of the various Generations books, since it was pretty clear Marvel went out of the way to keep from using Magneto and Polaris when they were doing these books

Polaris vs Red Skull – Basically a recreation of the picture below, but with teen Lorna as the girl scout and Red Skull as the other guy.


Polaris using powers with two middle fingers – Idea spawned from image below from Gifted’s preview for next week.


Polaris solo book cover – some kind of theoretical solo book cover for her, with a font for her name

Polaris as next Phoenix Jean/HoM Wanda – People who know me may remember that I’ve suggested multiple times that Lorna could be an excellent deep dig into the tropes behind Jean as Phoenix and Wanda during House of M. Whatever this would be, it’d be in this vein. Marvel itself acknowledged Lorna’s potential here back in 2009 with the Fantastic Force cover below.


General “Lorna in events she was excluded from” art – Lorna’s been excluded from a lot of events over the decades for no good reason. Axis. Children’s Crusade. Inhumans vs X-Men. Days of Future Past. Avengers vs X-Men too, but I commissioned something for that when the event happened. Commissions would be Lorna added back into these events. For example, perhaps with Inhumans vs X-Men, Lorna trying to work something out with Crystal, whom she had helped while in space.

Fic (writing fic)

Bear in mind that I’m a lot slower, have less energy, and have a harder time getting into the groove of fics these days. It’s entirely possible I might not write any of these ideas. But I’m saying them anyway.

Polaris & Scarlet Witch Halloween – Idea I had around All-New X-Factor time. Harrison Snow tries to get Lorna and Wanda to dress up as stereotypical “ugly witches” for a Serval event. They realize how awful Snow’s plan is and ditch it. Wanda goes with a much nicer witch (or maybe princess?) look, and Lorna goes with being a knight, complementing each other.

Polaris and the eye camera – Another idea based on ANXF (which I reeeeally laid into for screwing up #3-6, but which started getting better from #7 onward and which had a lot of potential). This would basically be Lorna, fully aware of the camera Harrison Snow had surgically placed in her eyes, screwing with Snow by using her powers to feed him entirely different sound and images.

Mutants as Infinity Gems – This is an idea I’ve had for years, but which I kept to myself because I figured eh, you never know if you could be in a position to do it yourself. I know that’d never happen now, so here it is. Basically, there’s a mutant representative out there for each infinity gem. In my mind, they’re all women. Lorna would be one of them.

“Hellfire Horsemen” (NSFW) – A NSFW fic idea I had started but never finished even one of the chapters. Basically, four female characters have formed a club that’s a mix of Hellfire Club and Apocalypse’s horsemen. Plan was to use Polaris, Scarlet Witch, Rogue and Amelia Voght. Lorna would be Iron Maiden, representing War. I could potentially pick this up again and finish it next year.

Always open to additional ideas!